Trying to Settle Down

Oh wow … I skipped through all of July without blogging !

I think I’m getting old … I can’t keep up with all the activities any more … I tried quick posts on Facebook and Instagram – the new technology for the year, and that worked for a while but I think even that is falling behind now …

Anyway, in a nutshell … 

We had an unexpected trip to Trinidad at the beginning of summer, and then three weeks later flew across to San Diego, California for a soccer tournament.  We stayed an extra couple of days so the boys could see more of California … 

  So our routines have sort of flown out the door, and we’re not quite ready to settle back down yet … 

Tin will be starting his senior year in high school … aaarrghhh!! really???  senior already?  Maybe I’m the one who’s not ready for it.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, which drives me crazy, because there’s so much to put in place before the school year starts!  And .. he’s finally got his license!  No, that’s not his car – he’s just sitting in it! ūüėāmy stress level and blood pressure has been up these past few months, and now that he can drive out on his own, it’s double-double pressure … and no, he’s not bothered by it, because of course, this euphoria of being able to drive around on his own, with friends, anywhere, is ultimate freedom … *sigh* what to do?


So, I’m going to make myself settle back in a routine … and we’ll start that with working on the blog again, if for no other reason is that it makes me sit and write – or I should say, type.  There’s something about the fingers on the keys and the clicking of the keyboard, isn’t there?  Sometimes, I just want to re-type a page or two of documents just to type and exercise my fingers. Yeah, weird … 

I’ll work on a photo recap of the summer up till now .. That will also give me a chance to sort through the thousand and more photos that I took these past few months …

Have a good weekend, all !




Finally! Hot weather! 

Well, here in Trinidad and Tobago, it’s hot … reellll hot, as they would say. 

We had an unexpected and unplanned trip … Tin was asked to come down and try out for the national soccer u-17 team, so here we are. So far, it’s been a lot of hard work and practice in the heat and humidity, but he’s holding up. 

They had a break from the training over the weekend, so of course, that means … beach! 

And of course … a little game of beach soccer! Can’t get away from it ūüėŹ

And where was I? Under the umbrella of course … yarning! ūüėĀ

Oh yes … time to relax … 

Have a good summer, everyone! 

It’s Fall … or Summer Extended

The calendar says it’s the first day of fall, or autumn. ¬†The temperatures say it’s still summer. ¬†No matter. ¬†We can extend summer a few more weeks, I don’t mind.

Is it only me, or are the days going by faster and faster? ¬†Is it me not managing my time and schedule efficiently, or are there less hours in a day? ¬†I really don’t know where the time goes. ¬†We seem to be spinning around and around and the march of time is measured by the changing seasons and schedules, and yet I don’t feel that we’ve even stayed long enough in one season, and the¬†next one is upon us.

I’ve also realized that one of the reasons why I haven’t blogged much is because I’ve become predictable. ¬†Just like the changing seasons, you know what I’m going to write about … the hectic and chaos of schedules, the new school year, the sports season … And yet, that is what life is all about at the moment … there’s not much going on, in between running between home, school, work, soccer games, home, school, work …

Oh, we did manage a two-week beach vacation .. yeah!!


… which didn’t stop the boys¬†pokemon-huntingPokemon-hunting everywhere on the island …¬†you’ve heard of this game, right? ¬†lol

They even went riding all around the island to hit all those Poke-stops and catch those creatures …

I didn’t mind … that kept them busy, and I was left to my reading, crocheting, knitting and just plain being a beach bum .. We need that sometimes, don’t we?


Here’s hoping that the last quarter of the year doesn’t go so fast …








Looking for Inspiration

During my last trip to the DRC, I had been inspired by the traditional masks and arts and crafts to work on a big piece, which I usually don’t do. ¬†But since that turned out so well, I decided that I was going to do another one, and came prepared with all the pens that I thought I would be using.

As you probably know, you can’t force inspiration.

I knew that I would be doodling or scribbling at some point during the trip. ¬†But as I looked around for inspiration, I couldn’t find anything that I liked.

I started working on this, with a plan that I would just fold the poster paper again, and work on a panel with whatever designs I come up with. ¬†Except that my OCD brain kicked in, and said that it had to be the same on all four panels. ¬†Oh well …

Freehand, out of proportion, and a little off-center. ¬†Maybe it won’t look so bad once it’s all filled in.

Meanwhile, in my little sketchbook, I had also started some doodles, and putting some ideas to paper to see how it would look.

And that’s when inspiration hit …¬†

See those flowers? ¬†I got them from the bed runner … and came up with the squiggly lines for the leaves … and realized that I could draw these up on the poster paper too …

So I flipped the paper over, and started drawing …

And there it is … the inspiration for my next DRC masterpiece …

Can’t wait to see how this one ends up …


Baked Bread 

After a week in Kinshasa, we moved on to Goma for the rest of the trip.

Knowing that there were going to be long days and nights of work for the coming weeks, we went to the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in Gisenyi, Rwanda, for their Sunday brunch.

As before, we walked across to the border, and then a 20-minute leisurely walk to the hotel.  We enjoyed brunch, a continental breakfast, including made to order omelettes,  crepes, local dishes such as mutoke, tilapia, and a variety of juices Рtry the tamarind juice  it was a nice blend of tangy and sweet Рand a complimentary glass of champagne at the end!

The carved watermelon was what drew me to this table … and only realized later that the turtle and crocodile? were actually baked bread! ¬†The boys wanted to know why they would make bread animals; they weren’t going to eat that, they said lol

Enjoying the view of Lake Kivu. ¬†The cloud formations in this part of the world are still the best I’ve seen – all those puffs and balls of clouds!¬†¬†¬†

We let the showers pass by before we started our walk back to the border and DRC. ¬†And of course I had to take photos of flowers …

Rwanda Day Trip 

‘Come, let’s go for brunch on the weekend’, I was told.

Ok, no problem.  Where?

To Gisenyi, Rwanda.  Over there, just across the border.

Oh. ¬†I didn’t realize that our hotel was only a five-minute walk to the border!

So we walked to the border. ¬†ha! ¬†After a round of filling out forms and getting our passports leafed through and stamped in the DRC, we showed them to the officer sitting in a chair exactly on the border, who leafed through them again, and then let us through. ¬†We then stepped up to the window – there, where you see people by the building – to fill out the entry forms and have our passports leafed through and stamped again. ¬†I wanted to take out the camera to take pictures, but I didn’t dare in case they took it from me. ¬†I took the photos with the phone camera instead.

At last we were through.

We decided to walk to the resort hotel that was offering the weekend brunch.  It was a nice day, not too hot, and it was good to stretch our legs and walk and take in the countryside.

This is the same Lake Kivu, taken from the Rwanda side. ¬†That’s Goma, DRC that you see in the distance.


We arrived at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel resort. ¬†Nice, upscale hotel resort, decorated with the native arts. ¬†We sat down to a continental breakfast, with what I think is a traditional Rwandan or East African breakfast – stewed beans, chicken drumsticks, matoke stew (mashed bananas), soup? Ok. ¬†There was also beet juice and cucumber juice, in addition to the more common papaya, watermelon, orange, pineapple juices. ¬†No, I wasn’t adventurous enough again to try the beet juice.

Jane asked for hot sauce …1890993_10153967136553906_9175902384203872265_n ‘Here’, they said. ¬†Be careful. ¬†Just one drop. ¬†One? ¬†Yes. ¬†One. ¬†It’s very hot, very spicy. ¬†Hmmm… chili oil, it says.

So Jane squeezed out one drop … then another drop in a different spot … and another in a different spot … Several drops and a forkful later, she was fanning her mouth and looking for water, tea, liquids, to cool her tongue …

I stayed away from it … Remember, I’m not that adventurous when it comes to culinary adventures …

After breakfast, I took a walk on the hotel grounds.

A football game in progress, complete with spectators on the side …

A strip cleared and filled with sand, with umbrellas, for people to work on their tan …¬†

Flowers, of course …

… the souvenir shop. ¬†I really liked those white statues … hope they weren’t made out of ivory!

It was a relaxing morning.  Refreshed, we walked back to the border, and went through the same process coming in.


It was quite a change of scenery, but then I must remember that we were in a resort, inside its walls.  Regular life continues outside the walls.

Little boys under the trees